Snapdragon Showdown Sees 57 Sends!

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On Saturday 22 January, two of South Africa’s best climbers, Mel Janse van Rensburg and Chris Cosser, went head to head on the endurance classic Snapdragon (29) to raise money for the Emgwenya Climbers, Waterval Boven’s local club.

To start the 12-hour innings, a modern day credit card toss was had with Chris Cosser winning the toss and opening the climbing.

Chris bolted out the gates and knocked the first 10 climbs out the park by 13:17pm, with Mel close behind with his 10th climb at 13:26pm. The day saw lots of spectators in and out of the crag with the weather doing its rounds with on and off sun, wind and drizzle. This didn’t deter the boys as they continued, with sends every 20-30 minutes. Mel continued with the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality and eclipsed Chris with his 20th send at 18:15pm. Chris took a dinner break and clocked his 20th climb at 19:34pm and then the long day got the best of him and he checked out on his 25th climb at 21:06pm. Mel continued his trend and went on to finish his 32nd climb at 22:01pm.

Collectively, their 57 sends raised a jaw dropping R97,185! With them blowing expectations out of the water, there will be a lot of empty wallets this week as they pay up their bets.

Us mere mortals watched from below as these two strong lads gave a phenomenal show of strength and endurance on a route most of wish we could do just once. Spectators were treated to coffee, snacks, pancakes and boerewors rolls on sale by Tegwaan. We were joined by some members of the Emgwenya Climbing Club, who came to cheer on Chris and Mel and each received a Black Diamond and The North Face shirt. Funds will be used to build a climbing wall in Boven so that these young crushers can enjoy a great local training facility.

A big well done to Mel and Chris for this inspiring showdown, the volunteers who belayed relentlessly, everyone who donated, and especially to Roc n Rope, Gustav and Alex for bringing everything together (including the magical lights).

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